Archive for July, 2007

Way Too Funny for an Assignment

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

For my Resources for Children class, I have to follow the YALSA-Bk List, as well as Joyce Valenza’s blog, Never Ending Search.

Last week, the YALSA List had a link to a hilarious video called “Accio Deathly Hallows”–Hank Green, brother of John Green, the YA author, sang a song about how anxious he was to read the new Harry Potter book.

I already knew a tiny bit about John Green/Hank Green’s blog–at the Printz Awards, I and the rest of the audience said, “Hi Hank!” to a video camera for the blog.  The two brothers decided to communicate only through their video blog for one year.

The song was wonderful!  So I sent a link to my now 13-year-old son. 

My son has spent hours of the last three days (EVEN after getting a Wii!) beginning at the beginning of the video blog and watching every single entry.  He’s up to April.

I watched today’s and think I’m hooked.  Anyone who gets excited about cataloging his home library is my kind of person!

As if that weren’t enough, in Joyce Valenza’s blog, there was a link to some utterly hilarious librarian videos, created by “Dr. Loopy.”  I’ve done some hard laughing tonight.  Is that allowed for a school assignment?

(I’ve added both hilarious links to my Blogroll.)

Two Teenagers

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Today my younger son turns 13.  So from now until next March 19, I am the proud mother of two teenagers.

I’ve got it easy–the older one is off at college and has already moved out, so I’m not actually living with two teenagers.  But I do have two teenage sons, and I’m bursting with pride in them.

Timothy’s Dad sent him a Wii for his birthday.  I like the way it makes playing video games a more physical experience!  I’m going to have to try it some time myself–I could use some exercise.

Tim also has a thing for donuts.  When he was very small, we had Dilbert’s Desktop Games on our computer.  He’s the only 3-year-old I’ve ever heard of who pretended to be “Techno-Bill.”  In the game, the characters would chant, “Gotta get more donuts!  Gotta get more donuts!”  I am convinced that phrase is hard-wired deep in Timothy’s brain.

So–in his online searches, he discovered the intriguing donut shop, The Fractured Prune.  It looks like there’s one near a local comic book shop, so we will make a pilgrimage today or tomorrow.  I think he’ll have a fun birthday.

Positive Deviance

Saturday, July 28th, 2007

I’m taking a class this quarter called “Management of Information Services.”  In it, we have to do a group project and present a management tool.  My group chose Positive Deviance.

Positive Deviance focuses on people who act outside the norm–on the positive side.  “Deviance is generally viewed as a bad thing.  But on one end of the curve, we find deviance in the form of excellence, the very behavior we want to promote.”–Robert Quinn, interviewed by Dennis Sparks in “Change: It’s a Matter of Life or Slow Death,” Journal of Staff Development, 22 (4), p. 49.

As I was reading the article above for background material, it struck me that positive deviance applies to marriages!

That morning, I read a quotation that struck me in A New Kind of Normal, by Carole Kent:  Paul and Silas’s discipline of praying and praising not only broke their own chains, but it also broke the chains of every other inmate in the prison.”–quoting Karen Beck, p. 98.

I thought of that passage when I read this in the Quinn interview:  “When we have successfully experienced a deep change, it inspires us to encourage others to undergo a similar experience.  We are all potential change agents.  As we discipline our talents, we deepen our perceptions about what is possible. … We must continually choose between deep change or slow death.”

Continuing:  “So now when people say something can’t be done, I ask for examples of positive deviance.  But people are often uncomfortable with these notions because they suggest that we all have the potential to do things that many claim are impossible.

“To tie all of this together, if we are not growing, we are dying.  And if we are growing and pushing the edges of the system, we will meet great resistance.  And yet it is possible for us to be positive deviants, and positive deviants change the world.”

“When people become empowered, they realize that they had put constraints upon themselves.  Suddenly, they are able to do all kinds of things we previously thought were impossible.”

How does this relate to marriage?

Well, if I look around at the norm in America, a marriage as far gone as mine is surely doomed.

But why should I copy the norm?  Wouldn’t I rather imitate the positive deviants, the people who have succeeded in healing and restoring their marriages, with God’s help?  They have done exactly the thing that seems impossible.

Positive deviance tells us that if you want excellence, find those who are acting with excellence and imitate them.

That’s why I choose to follow the example of the good people at, and choose to stand for my marriage, and choose to trust God.  Truly, He can do the impossible.  As more and more of us choose to rise above the norm, this positive deviance can spread.  We can see the power of God to heal.

I know that marital healing after severe hurts is NOT impossible–because people like Bob and Charlyne Steinkamp have shown me what can happen when you put your marriage into God’s hands.  I’d rather imitate people like that.

God Doesn’t Give Us the Silent Treatment

Saturday, July 21st, 2007

I’ve been thinking lately that I should not be surprised when God specifically, pointedly, answers a specific question I ask him about what I should do or how I should act.

After all, he says in James 1:  “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

There’s only one requirement.  We’ve got to believe that the advice God gives is worth following.  “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt.  For the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  He is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”

I’ve gotten a lot of answers to specific questions lately.  It continues to amaze me.  But perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised.

Sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t still have any questions.  God has told me what He wants me to do over and over again.  Why do I still get doubts and questions?  But that’s the beauty of the fact that God will give wisdom “without finding fault.”  He never lectures like an impatient parent, “Now, I’m only going to say this once!”

Recently, I found myself wondering if I was being “unrealistic” believing that God had told me to stand for my marriage.  With all the hurts behind us, it didn’t seem “realistic,” it didn’t seem “practical” to think that God could possibly restore our relationship.  I asked God, “Am I just having wishful thinking?”  “Am I being unrealistic?”

The very next day, Pastor Ed preached a sermon titled, “The Limitations of Common Sense” ( which directly and specifically answered my questions.  The example was Jeroboam, King of Israel.  God had promised to give him ten tribes of Israel, and even build him an everlasting dynasty if He would follow the Lord.  But that request did not seem practical….

When God gives you a plan of action coupled with a promise, it’s not about what’s realistic or practical.  It’s about what God can do.

The question is not:  Is this practical?  The question is:  Will I obey God?

Something Silly at Flickr

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

This website reminds me of a trip I took with my son on RyanAir.  They had economized by taking out seat pockets–and had the cartoons of emergency procedures on the seat backs instead of on a folder.  My son commented that the guy in the cartoons was having a really bad day.  Sure enough, each guy in each emergency landing was dressed the same, and looked like the same fellow.  A bad day indeed!

I can’t stop laughing when I look at this website:


Sondy’s Story at Sterling

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Jun07 016
Originally uploaded by SondySue

My second day on the job, and already I was helping with a pizza event for kids.

Libraries are great!

YA Author Breakfast

Thursday, July 12th, 2007


With Gene Luen Yang, 2007 Printz Award winner, author of American Born Chinese.


With M. T. Anderson, 2007 Printz Honor Winner, and author of Feed


All the authors who were at the breakfast.  Some I met were Lois Lowry, Terry Trueman, Virginia Hamilton…


2007 Book Cart Drill Team World Championships

Thursday, July 12th, 2007


Mo Willems, the author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, works the crowd.







Kristin’s Book!

Thursday, July 12th, 2007


My friend Kristin’s book, Saving the Griffin, on display in the Peachtree booth.

Washington Convention Center, Day One of ALA National Conference

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Washington Convention Center, Day One of ALA